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Astropreneurs events set to connect space-based start-ups and corporations


11 Dec 2020


Innovation & Enterprise
Astropreneurs, the EU-funded space start-up accelerator focused on disrupting the space economy, is holding two digital events on 15 – 16 December.

11 DECEMBER 2020 / After 36-months of intense mentoring from some of the world’s leading aerospace experts, the EU’s Astropreneurs have been cleared for landing. To welcome this group of 500 space entrepreneurs and 165 start-ups home, project organisers are holding a digital matchmaking and final event.

The Astropreneurs project, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is dedicated to turning space-related ideas into viable businesses. It does this by promoting opportunities for entrepreneurs coming from the space sector and from such non-space sectors as aviation, maritime, defence, location-based services, drones, and logistics. These opportunities include mentoring on technical skills, help accessing necessary funding and investments, and support with developing their business ideas.

As the final step in their acceleration programme, the start-ups will be given a chance to match and meet European corporations and investors and find business, funding, and networking opportunities during the all-digital AstroMatchathon event on 15 December.

“All of the participating corporations have a specific need, and this event is a unique opportunity for our Astropreneurs to show how their products and services can help solve these needs,” says Carlos Cerqueira, Director of Innovation at the Instituto Pedro Nunes and Astropreneurs project coordinator.

Participating corporations include leading players from the European aerospace, agritech, aviation, education, energy, digital technology, IoT/Big Data, maritime, media, mining, mobility, new space, road infrastructure & operations, smart cities, safety and security, and tourism sectors.

The AstroMatchathon will be followed by the Astropreneurs Touchdown event on 16 December. This online event is an opportunity for all the project’s participants, including the advisory board, start-ups, mentors, investors, partners, and other stakeholders, to share best practices in space innovation and discuss the challenges that lie ahead.

“If our start-ups are going to succeed in growing the EU space economy, they need the support of the entire space community,” adds Cerqueira. “By bringing together the major stakeholders, including the European Commission and the European Space Agency,  the Astropreneurs Touchdown event is an important first step in building this essential support network.”

Featured speakers include: Tomas S. Jonsson, European Commission, DG Defence Industry and Space - Unit Space Research, Innovation and Start-ups; Frank Salzgeber, Head of Innovation and Ventures Office at ESA Space Solutions; Carlos Cerqueira, IPN and Astropreneurs Project Coordinator; members of Astropreneurs Advisory Board, including representatives from EBN, Enterprise Europe Network (EEN),European Space Agency (ESA), F6S, and SpaceUp; and a panel of four programme mentors, four startups, and the project’s eight partner organisations.

More information on both events can be found at

About Astropreneurs

Astropreneurs is a Horizon 2020 space business project committed to turning spacerelated ideas into viable businesses and promoting opportunities for entrepreneurs coming from both space and non-space sectors. Running from January 2018 through December 2020, the project is led by the Instituto Pedro Nunes (Portugal) and done in partnership with the Aerospace Valley (France), Brimatech (Austria), cesah (Germany), CzechInvest (Czech Republic), KIMbcn (Spain), STFC (United Kingdom), and Verhaert (Belgium).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776258. 



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